[Something Pretty] made me feel more understood and less alone ... truly meaningful and beautiful and I'll remember it for the rest of my life" - audience member
Eating disorders are the deadliest mental illness in the United States. They affect 20 million women and 10 million men a year, not including the scores of individuals who suffer body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered attitudes and behaviors. Many of these cases are seen in females ages fifteen to twenty-four years, and many of them participate in dance. However prevalent, these disorders are not recognized.
Something Pretty physicalizes the mental and emotional struggle that individuals with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other eating disorders are faced with on a daily basis. By looking at these eating disorders through the lens of dance, we are able to shine a light on the common idealized notion that many dancers seek to achieve. In addition we highlight the negative social stigma around admitting one has such a disorder, and the lack of assistance available, that takes their situation from bad to worse. It is clear that this stigma needs to be dismantled from its core in order to move in a healthy direction. Something Pretty seeks to do just that.
Artistic Director, Alexandra Bodnarchuk, collaborated with photographer Hannah Altman to develop a series of images to accompany this project. Most specifically, these photos were used for the programs, which were designed like a fashion magazine. In Alexandra's own experience, fashion magazines played a pivotal role in her struggle with an eating disorder. Something Pretty offered her an opportunity to create such images on her own terms. Below are those images. To enlarge, click the image.
Something Pretty premiered at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, PA in August 2016.
Cast: Alexandra Bodnarchuk, Marcella Day, Alicia Hann, Andrea Kozai, Brandon Musser, Patty Petronello, Alexandra Salerno, Nicole Truzzi, Jhonphillip Yonan
Click to enlarge photo
Special Thanks to: Allegro Ballet, Bar Marco, Commonplace Coffee, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, MUV Integrated Physical Culture, PearlArts Studios, Poros, Stack PGH -- Beth Corning, Adam Hertzman, Todd Owens, Staycee Pearl, James Turnshek, Julia Weiskopf & all the interviewees who shared their stories.
Donors: Anonymous, Jeffrey Gross, Amy Katz, Christopher King, Lyn C. Musser, Michael Oneil, Todd Owens, James Turnshek